7 hacks chefs use to upgrade a can of soup

Callie Ahlgrim/INSIDERHeating up a can of soup can lead to a satisfying meal.
  • Having a couple of cans of soup on standby is a good idea for some cosy, lazy meals.
  • You can upgrade your favourite chicken noodle soup by adding an egg or some crackers.
  • Freshly grated parmesan, hot sauce, or sausage can also amp up a can of soup.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories .

Whether you’re a self-proclaimed soup chef or only proficient in the culinary art of microwaving, sometimes you just need an easy and comforting meal from a can.

Here are some simple ways to upgrade a can of soup, according to professional chefs.


A basic can of tomato soup can be transformed into an expensive-tasting bisque.

Edalin Photography/ShutterstockCanned soup is inexpensive and easy to upgrade.

Chef Joshua Dalton from Veritas restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, told Insider he likes to turn some canned soups into bisques using a few key ingredients.

“Campbell’s tomato soup, of course, is a classic. I like to add heavy cream and some fresh spices to make it a well-rounded bisque,” he said.


A can of chicken noodle soup can also be upgraded with an egg.

ShutterstockChicken noodle soup is a classic cosy meal.

Daniel England, the corporate chef of OMG Hospitality Group in San Diego, told Insider that a can of chicken noodle soup can easily be transformed into a take on an egg-drop wonton soup.

His recipe starts by bringing the can of soup to a boil on the stove. While you’re waiting, he said, you’ll want to whisk a couple of eggs. Turn down the heat once the soup is bubbling, and stir it with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring as you slowly pour the whisked eggs into the pot.

“Let the eggs sit in the hot liquid, undisturbed, for one to two minutes to fully set. I like to finish with toasted sesame seeds and thinly sliced scallions,” he said. “You can also add sliced mushrooms when you bring the soup to a boil. I personally like shiitakes with this particular recipe.”


New England clam chowder gets a kick with some seasonings.

Ezume Images/ShutterstockNew England clam chowder with crackers.

Chef Eli Kirshtein, former “Top Chef” contestant and former culinary director for Revelator Coffee Company in Atlanta, said that a few simple ingredients can hack a can of New England clam chowder.

“I am a sucker for Campbell’s New England clam chowder. I usually like to season it up with a splash of Worcestershire sauce, a bit of hot sauce, and a couple grinds of black pepper,” he told Insider. “To make it a little more of a substantial meal, I will griddle a piece of sourdough in butter and put it in the bottom of a bowl before I pour the soup on top. It acts like a quick bread bowl.”


Any can of tomato soup simply needs a good sandwich pairing.

Erin McDowell/InsiderTomato soup is a classic.

Billy Riddle, the co-executive chef and partner at Spice Finch restaurant in Philadelphia, is a big fan of canned tomato soup, especially when it’s paired with a unique sandwich.

“Tomato soup is the soup of the past, present, and future,” he said. “There’s nothing better than a hot bowl served with grilled cheese, or grilled peanut butter, on a cold winter day.”


Canned Italian wedding soup can be amped up with sausage.

iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty ImagesThere are many takes on Italian wedding soup.

Nico Romo, the executive chef of NICO restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, told Insider that he likes to add sausage to canned Italian wedding soup, particularly the one from Progresso.

Italian wedding soup consists of vegetables, meatballs, and small pasta noodles, so the sausage can add a nice kick of flavour.

“I always add Sriracha and freshly grated parmesan to brighten it up,” he added.


Vegetable-based canned soups can be upgraded with a bit of cheese.

Nadia_007 / iStockThe cheese adds a creamy texture and flavour.

Nicolas Caicedo, the executive chef at The Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn, has a simple hack for vegetable soups.

“My favourite way to eat it is by topping the warm soup with shredded cheese and garlic croutons to add crunch and creaminess,” he said, adding that Amy’s canned soups are his favourite.


Lentil soup can be even more flavorful with a bit of hot sauce and an egg.

ShutterstockLentil soups can be comforting and filling.

Renown Chicago chef, Rick Gresh, takes a can of lentil soup to the next level with ramen-inspired ingredients.

“This soup is hearty and packed with veggies. Usually, I add a poached egg and Sriracha to it,” he told Insider.

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